Impetus

Why the new found single-minded purpose? Burning man. Everyone talks about how magical that place is. I’m never easily swayed. When I first heard those claims I would parrot the sentiment, but I never really believed it. I always believed it was a complex, fun, expressionist, exhibitionist gathering, but never truly connected the possible gravity affecting every day life. I’ve heard many times, “Burning man changed my life.” It hasn’t changed mine. But if I find my voice over the course of my 6 month journey, it truly will have. Then I can honestly say that Burning Man changed my life. For now it remains a party.

So how did this happen? Partly happenstance. What I learned this year I learned in 12 hours. Yes, I went to Burning Man for 12 hours. Fuck, I drove 15 to get there (had to turn back to get my ticket 4 hours in) and easily spent $2,000. And if I can find my voice, it will have been the cheapest, least time consuming shock therapy I could have asked for.

Funny that the theme this year was “Rites of Passage.”

Here’s a letter I wrote while balling my eyes out alone on the playa that may help explain a little:

“Dear D & L

My reason for writing this to you is to ask you for understanding, not sympathy. This burn feels the same as my first. My compulsion for solitude and reflection is exactly the same, only now with wisdom.

My second year brought me copious amounts of love, joy, and adventure. The difference is strength. I came back from Alaska changed last year in a way I have never known, without the benefit of knowing why. Now I see that I’ve allowed myself to be sapped of strength of mind and body.

This note does not (nor does my lack of explanation upon leaving), in any way intend to reflect a lack of love or respect for any of the sparrows. In fact, my love and respect increases for the presence and effect during my ridiculous expedition.

The playa makes things clear in an instant. I’ve been searching for my voice for over 6 months without knowing why. I know realize where it’s gone – I need to find strength. This is my reason for leaving unexpectedly, and I hope you can understand that.

My love for you both runs deep. I only ask for forgiveness for my weakness.

The playa provides what you need. I guess it’s true.

Phil”

Then I high tailed it out of there without leaving the note. I did leave two couches for everyone to deal with getting off the playa. If you’re reading this, I’m really sorry guys. I feel awful about doing that, but I had to get the fuck out.

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Finding a voice

I have lived many long years trying to be a good person. Being generous and amicable comes easily to a Minnesotan, the home of some of the nicest people on the planet. I would take it as it comes, rarely get upset,  go with the flow. I now find myself nearing 40 with a mouselike voice, when I deeply desire the roar of a lion. Always have.

While I realize that nice and brave aren’t mutually exclusive, I’m prepared to take a journey that has a strong focus on who I am and what I have to offer the world. This will be a selfish journey. And until it is finished, I will do what I have to do.

This blog is a step on that path, along with a commitment to building strength in mind and body over the next 6 months. I intend to emerge from this intensive experience with power and strength. I realize that for me, building my physical body is as important as delving into my mind and soul, and in fact may lead the way more quickly than any other. Nonetheless, I place my intention on all personal avenues for growth. I will not go quietly into the night. I withdraw now to return later with passion, certainty, and will.

My path is clear. My journey begins.